Care and Cure Prevalence
Prevalence estimates calculated from cancer registry data consider all patients previously diagnosed with
cancer and alive at the prevalence date irrespective of whether the patient is under treatment or is considered cured.
This use of the term prevalence may be justified because treatment for the disease (e.g., surgery or radiation)
may lead to long-term or permanent mental and physical impairment, as well as changes in one's socioeconomic
and cultural status. However, the definition may also be used simply because of the difficulty of determining
when a person is cured or when, using population-based data, treatment ends.
Care Prevalence is an estimate of prevalent cases that are still under care. Since population-based cancer data does
not include follow-up information on cancer care, estimation of care prevalence is problematic. The SEER-Medicare
linked data allow for longitudinal tracing of individuals with cancer using information from the Medicare claims.
Mariotto et al., (2003) have estimated the prevalence of patients with colorectal cancer age 65 and older
who are under care in the US.
Non-cure Prevalence is an estimate of prevalent cases that have not been cured of disease. Statistical approaches
(e.g. assuming survival models which are a mixture of cured and uncured patients) have been applied to model cure
prevalence. (See Capocaccia & De Angelis, 1997; Coldman et al., 1992)